[Make-wifi-fast] It's hardware eval time again (basic hardware selection)

Dave Täht dave at taht.net
Sat Feb 13 13:41:06 EST 2016

I had a browse at linuxgizmos last weekend. Wow. The cornucopia machine
is open and it is almost impossible to imagine what will happen next! 64
bit arms, 40 bucks. Jeebus.
2 years back, 64 bit arms cost 1500 bucks.

for the last 6 weeks... I have basically been regrouping in San
Francisco after an aborted attempt to move to sweden. Nearly all of my
hardware is there, (notably snapon) and I'm still trying to finish
moving the last bufferbloat.net server into the cloud from isc.org, and
am ordering some replacement gear for here, this week.

While I root for the omnia turris project to get to deliverables
(june-ish?), I plan to return to hacking on the linksys 1200ac stuff as
and evaluating various mini-pcie cards for that (and elsewhere on the

I also have a tp-link c7v2 and wndr3800 to play with. (we really, really
need to finish cake). I have totally minimal desires to build openwrt,
plan to leverage hannu's build on the 3800 for now, most of my problems
are in getting everything new basically configured and plugged in.
Anybody else in SF? Arguably there is too much stuff on my plate...

the mt72 chipset folk are all apparently deep into the chinese new year
- too much to answer an email.

I am upgrading a nuc to have the right ath9k card in it. I also ordered
a libre13 laptop from puri.sm with an ath9k in it. (I was afraid that I
could not swap out wifi cards on other laptops). I would not mind adding
other ath9k equipped laptops (chromebooks?)

I picked up a new android tablet with 2600x1600 resolution from best
) 100 bucks!?

Two huge possible diversions in terms of basic OS development platforms
are that I see google's "brillo" effort is off the ground and accepting
selected developers. Also, is anyone going to the cable industry
conference next week in orlando? There is also some good stuff happening
on intel's puma6 architecture there and their kernel should be 3.10 or
later by now. I plan to dig hard into that. It might be really
distracting - actual pie & fq_codel equipped cable gear. Yum!


Nobody, still, is quite making what I want - I'd like a battery option
for the omnia and other gear like this - something that would last at
least 30 seconds.

There are addon ups gear for a lot of these hackerboards - what I keep
hoping to find is a tablet with an ethernet port...

On other fronts:

Would like to see cake on the edgerouter X.

The ath10k wave2 stuff seems to be slated to start coming in in june,
also. Ben Greear at candelatech is doing a nice job on fixing up the
firmware for that (as are others), and there was some good noise on the
linux-wireless list on the intel wireless front this past week. My iwl
equipped laptop is likely to stay in sweden, where also toke has
assembled a 5 station ath9k testbed.

So we're getting closer to being able to make a concentrated run at
make-wifi-fast from a wifi density, repeatable experiment, and hardware
perspective. Too many choices at hand! Anyone want to add one/subtract
one/vote for one?


Since my departure from SF last july the number of APs I can hear in the
SF apartment grew from 12 to over 30. (Portions of the yurtlab remain
well controlled so more isolated testing can happen there, also. Toke
will also move to attenuators)

I have an increasing desire to build (or buy if one exists) a couple
boxes that can "aircap" packet capture across as many bands as possible,
in these locations (and elsewhere, if people here are interested)

So my immediate vision here is 4 usb wifi dongles attached to a nuc, or
perhaps a rasp pi B or uDroid C1+ - I'd love to find something that
could do an aircap of 802.11ac, doubt that exists. There are some decent
dongles out there, are there any proven to aircap "well"?

Another option would be to leverage a board (like the omnia) with 2 or
more mini-pcie cards on it (I think I prefer this option, longer term)

In the bad ole days I'd have actually gone for a real scope of some sort.

Thoughts? Is there any higher end test gear out there for 802.11ac?

I look to candelatech to get an attenuator and load generator.

I think the sdr-based wifi torpedo looks good, can't remember the link.

There is a growing need to be able to tear apart those aircaps
statistically also, in particular retransmits and packet loss patterns.

And, possibly delusionally, I keep thinking getting a lte capable dongle
or mini-pcie card would be good too. Sierra wireless? What?

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